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Animal Welfare Quality Assurance Requirements

Our animal welfare quality assurance requirements include:

  • All individuals who transport hogs to Hormel Foods must have the National Pork Board’s Transport Quality Assurance (TQA) certification. The training materials for this program cover the responsible way to treat and handle animals during loading, transportation and delivery. Handlers are taught to recognize the amount of space needed around each hog and points of balance to aid in hog movement. Achieving TQA certification requires attendance at an educational and training session, and a score of 90% or above on a written exam.
  • All sites where a producer raises hogs supplied to Hormel Foods must achieve Site Status as defined by the National Pork Board’s PQA Plus program. This is attained through an on-farm assessment that evaluates welfare and well-being principles.
  • All team members at our company-owned hog farm are required to comply with qualifications outlined in our quality management system, which includes standard operating procedures, a personal pledge of proper conduct and certifications in the National Pork Board’s PQA Plus and TQA programs. Team members cannot be promoted until they have undergone appropriate training for the new positions and until their managers have attested to their ability to work with animals in a new capacity.
  • All producers who supply hogs to Hormel Foods, and the employees of those producers, must be certified in the National Pork Board’s PQA Plus program. To achieve certification, producers must attend an educational and training session taught by a PQA Plus adviser – a veterinarian, extension professional or adult agricultural educator. The class content focuses on food safety, animal well-being, herd health, and medication decision making, administration and records management.
  • All producers who supply hogs to Hormel Foods must also adhere to the Hormel Foods Farm Animal Care and Treatment Specifications (FACTS) program. In addition to documentation and animal/facility observations, key components of the program include third-party audits and corrective actions for noncompliance.

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